INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle today spoke to the media via video conference call, in which he talked about the addition of free agent tight end Trey Burton, the team's run-blocking emphasis on offense and having a new quarterback in Philip Rivers running the show.
You can listen to that session in its entirety above, but here are some top takeaways:
» Doyle is "really excited" about the addition of free agent tight end Trey Burton: Like Doyle, Burton entered the league as an undrafted free agent who has worked his way up the ladder, first earning his keep on special teams before seeing his role on offense continue to grow with each passing year.
Burton, who will turn 29 this offseason, is also like Doyle in one other key area: he's considered one of the better blocking tight ends in the league.
Doyle said he's always respected Burton's game from afar, and is excited to see what he can do now that he's with him in Indy.
"Trey's awesome," Doyle said. "He's just an athletic guy. … I've been able to text and talk to him back and forth and get to know him, and he's an awesome family dude. I'm really excited about having Trey here."
Burton, who started his career with the Philadelphia Eagles before spending the last two seasons with the Chicago Bears, has a past history with head coach and playcaller Frank Reich, who was Burton's offensive coordinator with the Eagles in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Doyle said as Reich worked through installing the playbook with the Colts, he was sure to show off elite tight end play from his days with both the San Diego Chargers and the Eagles, and that's when Burton really made an impression on him.
"Obviously remember seeing a lot of Antonio Gates and seeing a lot of (Zach) Ertz, and then Trey would pop up there with some great routes," Doyle said. "It was just impressive stuff. … I'm always so happy for him, coming from an undrafted guy, I feel like it's its own fraternity to root for each other … it's gonna be fun to have him in the room and I'm excited to see what he can do."
» Like with Burton, Doyle is also getting to know another offensive teammate in quarterback Philip Rivers: Rivers, of course, was signed back in March to be the team's new starting QB, and he's had quite the history connecting with tight ends, most notably with Gates, but also with guys like Ladarius Green, Randy McMichael and, most recently, Hunter Henry.
Doyle said he's been communicating back and forth with his new quarterback since his signing, and since the start of the team's virtual offseason workout program 2 1/2 weeks ago, he's seen first-hand what's made Rivers a Hall-of-Fame-caliber player.
"I love hearing him talk during the meetings, and the way he talks ball is really cool," Doyle said. "I see it the same way he does, I guess. I feel a little connection there already, and we'll just build off of that."
The challenge this offseason, of course, is the fact the players are currently all separated from one another as they adhere to stay-at-home measures put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So once Doyle and Rivers and the rest of the team are allowed to convene at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center for the first time, they'll have some on-field catching up to do.
"Whatever the world is or what we can do, we'll do and build that timing and connection," Doyle said. "It's been great to have him in meetings and getting to know him and talk to him."
See some of the best images of Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle.
» An even bigger emphasis on running the ball? Bring it on, Doyle says: Last year the Colts' "run the damn ball" saying caught on quickly, and by year's end, the team ranked just outside the top-five in the league in rushing.
And now, with the entire offensive line back, as well as top running backs Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins — and most of the tight ends and wide receivers who are also key in freeing up blocks — it seems as if that offensive philosophy is here to stay in 2020.
But when the Colts traded up to select Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor — a two-time Doak Walker Award winner — in the second round of this year's NFL Draft, that added even more firepower to the run game.
The two-time Pro Bowler Doyle is ready to play his part.
"I'm always ready to block," he said. "I love blocking."
Doyle said he's been getting hyped up in team meetings as they show big-time run plays from last season, knowing more is to come soon.
"It's fun to watch and see our offensive linemen, include Mo (Alie-Cox) in there and all the tight ends and don't forget about the receivers because they all block," Doyle said. "If we just keep that up we'll keep hitting those big runs."